Gender Equality in Scenic Arts

From Mars the 1rd untill April the 12th ‘They Create’ Fest took place in “Centro Cultural Conde Duque” in its twelfth edition. This is a meeting that brings together all the women that have something to do with the field of arts and a lot of different and innovative activities are proposed in this topic.

During these last years “They Create” has become the place to find the image of the “real” woman, nothing is faked. Furthermore it has grown up including a greater variety of matters, remarkable personalities and many institutions that are bringing a lot of passion to fight for gender equality in the field of culture.


This discussion, organised by “Asociación Clásicas y Modernas” (association that promotes gender equality in every cultural aspect of the society) and that has taken place the 31th Mars from 19:00 to 22:00h, had the participation of:
-          Margarita Borja: poetess, author, international scenic directress, “Clásicas y Modernas” vicepresident and discussion moderator.

  • Isabel Veiga Barrio: actress, theatral researcher, gender and equality in politics expert.
  • Trini Moreno Cobos: Equality operative – Speaker of the “Clásicas y Modernas” Board
  • Jana Pacheco: playwright, theatral researcher and cultural manager
  • Cristina Yáñez Giner: scene directress, actress and theatral pedagogue.
Margarita Borja opened the discussion thanking every person that made the event possibe as well as the participants, such as Fernando Vallejo (writer and film-maker from Colombia), Karina Garantivá (manager of the company “Primas de Riesgo” and actress). She also introduced the topic talking about the improvement women have made regarding gender equality, the need women have to create and free their own creativity. Nontheless she assure this is a very bad moment for women and points out that’s the reason why all of them should keep together in this struggle.
Isabel Veiga before starting to investigate the matter referred to us, ask us, is there inequality in the performing arts? Most people on the street is sure that inequality is solved; in a survey of 20 positions of importance placed on number 18 gender violence and inequality. In fact, if we talk about equality in the performing arts, it is said that women have more opportunities, they charge the same, there are priority issues ... Therefore no differences are investigated, because "To react need to know. Therefore, the first step is to eliminate inequality raise public awareness of its existence. We must realize that theater is a means of communication, is a space in which different types of relationships and teamwork and above are given, we should look there an Organic Law 3/2014 for Effective Equality not meets and why no one receives sanctions. Actually, they not even know the effects and causes of this inequality because they do an investigation sobe it, just accept it. To make a good research on this without forgetting that inequality is found everywhere, it is necessary to make a comprehensive analysis: by looking at the multiplicity of actors, at different stages of the artistic process, with both internal and external research and analyzing the data, both qualitative and quantitative. These gender gaps and even indirect discrimination lies in the access to resources unequally in the greater visibility of either gender (are encouraged more men to events, forums and presentations that women for example ... is more the research results reveal that the careers of actresses are more discontinuous than those of men must assume the role of traditional gender (which is socially accepted) being pregnant, caring for adults and children ...

Cristina Yanez tells us that from France we have reached the Days of Equality, regrouped cultural organizations wishing to meet gender equity compliance governance that guarantees such equality, offering positions of equal responsibility, delegating men and women equally important in the decision-routed to a balanced program of shows, writing texts, same means and salaries ...

So, Cristina and her companions are conducting a study of inequality communities, being of the community of Aragon, is there where we sent the data. To begin with is the community with fewer inhabitants stable cultural centers, plus the greater the smaller theater is the presence of women in it. In music festivals there is a 0% of women who make up, 2% in ownership and direction and 7% in programming. In studies there is a 70% of women who have completed their training, 46% of women who have finished the conservatory and 14% studying composition. There are few women studying and completing their studies because they know do not matter in these sectors, they are not valued.

Trini gives us more data, making us see that there are women in the sector are invisible. In the National Dance Awards, there are 20 award-winning 27 editions, ie 74%. In theater, there are 12 winners of 53 editions, ie 22.6% and the circus has been 3 awarded in 25 editions, 12%. That is, even in dance in which there are more women than men, they receive greater visibility (26%) of women have achieved in any field. In addition to data provided by CulturArts, an autonomous body that defends cultural policies, make it clear that even the media forget the figure of the woman. The average of articles that talk about the authorship of women is 21%, the average number of articles in which they are mentioned is 18.5% and the number of journalists who write about the performing arts is 18%. In none of the cases it reaches 50%. Moreover, in special that newspapers do in December, talking about the best of the year there is a 0% speak authoring women and 10% of directors speak. Not even in music (watching great American singers) we are made visible in a ranking of the top 7 of 10, only two women.

Juana exposed her disappointment towards the data shown before as well as the indignation Max Awards have created in her being a step backwards women integration comparing to the ones celebrated two years ago in Barcelona. This year there have been almost no prices given to women. She encourages us to know some organizations fighting against inequality, for example Sangre Fucsia, Marías Guerreras… She pointed out conscious men are also necessary inside these associations.

One thing is clear, if the actresses continue having that many problems, something horrible is happening in the field of culture. Are you going to keep staring or are you going to react? If we act daily we can change what is happening and that is why fests such as “They create” offer that conscientious view that society needs right now.